The Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties, Inc. (JLGNF) participated in the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) from February 20-24. This was the second year the league participated in the initiative. League members wore one black dress or ensemble for five consecutive days to raise awareness about the issue of poverty in Georgia.
Originated by the Junior League of London, the LBDI seeks to make “poverty unfashionable” by illustrating the effects of severe financial hardship, low self-esteem and limited access to resources and opportunities for women and children. Advocates also wore a pin that says, “Ask Me About My Dress,” to generate discussion about the initiative and its objectives. Other organizations that joined the crusade included the Junior Leagues of Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Cobb-Marietta, Columbus, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Gainesville-Hall County, Macon and Savannah.
This year, the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties had over 40 members participate in the program, and each shared a picture of themselves with their little black dress on social media. Each member used the hashtags “JLGNFdoesLBDI” and “TheLBDI,” and by the end of the campaign, we had over 135 social media posts shared to help generate awareness of poverty issues in Georgia.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, Georgia has one of the highest poverty rates of children in the United States at 24.7 percent. The following statistics typify the severity of this problem in the areas surrounding JLGNF:
- More than 1.7 million Georgians are impoverished.
- 6.5 percent of Forsyth County’s overall population and six percent of its children are living in poverty.
- 17.6 percent of Fulton County’s overall population and 23.8 percent of its children are living in poverty.
- 12.6 percent of Gwinnett County’s overall population and 17.9 percent of its children are living in poverty.
To exemplify their support for LBDI, JLGNF continued its partnership with Sweet Repeat Dresses to collect new and gently used prom dresses. Local teens in need can shop for a dress of their choosing during Sweet Repeat Dresses’ semi-annual free dress event. This year, JLGNF donated more than 75 dresses throughout the campaign that were then donated to Sweet Repeat Dresses.